Baglihar Dam On LeT Radar, Say Arrested Militants

12 July 2009
The Indian Express

Kupwara: Now J&K’s major power project Baglihar Dam is on the target of Lashkar-e-Toiba. This was revealed by two alleged LeT militants after being arrested from the forests of Shamsabari near the Line of Control in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. The Army has identified the militants as Mohammad Shafakat and Mohammad Adnan, both from Pakistan. General Officer Commanding, 28 Infantry Division, S Mitra said the duo along with two other militants and two guides had sneaked into the Valley recently. “After completing their training in PoK, these militants had infiltrated into the Valley through Lipa Valley with an aim to attack security forces and other installations,” he said. Mitra said the arrested duo had revealed that 15 militants were being specially trained in PoK for an attack on Baglihar Dam across Chenab. “They also made a startling revelation that a secret tunnel was being dug by the militants from Sialkot, Pakistan, towards India,” he said. The two militants who were presented before the media in Kupwara Army Garrison said they were told by their leaders in Pakistan that Kashmiri Muslims were not being allowed to practise religion and Indian troops were committing excesses in Kashmir. “On reaching here, we met some locals in the upper reaches who told us that people are freely participating in religious activities here,” said Mohammad Shafakat. “When we ourselves heard azan from mosques, then only we realised that our leaders in Pakistan had ditched us.” Shafkat, in his early 20s, said he had joined Lashkar outfit in 2004 and took arms training along with 120 other militants in PoK. “Before crossing over to Kashmir I was affiliated with a newspaper of Lashkar-e-Toiba and also worked at a cassette shop owned by the outfit,” he said. “I was sent to Kashmir to fight against the troops or sneak into any camp of the security forces.” Shafkat said during the training in PoK he met some other militants who told him about targeting the Baglihar Dam. “In Aqsa training camp, 15 other militants told me they were being specially trained to target the Baglihar Dam,” he said. Shafkat also claimed that he worked at a tunnel being constructed on the border upto India. “I worked inside the 2,000-foot-long tunnel that is under construction on the border in Sialkot upto India,” he said. Mohammad Adnan, 18, the other militant, is a school dropout. After motivation from Lashkar leaders, his parents reportedly forced him to join the militant group. “I was given basic training in handling of weapons in PoK, before being sent to Kashmir,” he said. “We were four militants and two guides, but, soon after we sneaked into the Valley, the guides and other two militants picked a quarrel and left us in dense forests,” he said. “In the forests we met some Gurjjar hunters who told us the real situation in Kashmir. It was there that we decided not to fight against the Army,” said Adnan. “And, when Army encircled us, we did not show any resistance... If the Almighty wishes, I will be allowed to go to Pakistan.”